Muscle spasms years after hip replacement surgery

Posted by Sam22 @sandigrant, Nov 8, 2018

I have been going to physical therapy to try to strengthen my muscles two years after hip replacement. I get frequent spasms in my thigh and my therapist is stumped. The trigger is stretching the muscles while on the balls o my foot. I do deep breathing to relax the muscle and after a few seconds let’s like it never happened.

@scottb32 Sounds like you have good results from your hip surgery that is great main thing is to listen to Dr about rehab on the hip Being at ease is so important for your surgery and recovery .

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@debbraw

Hi @owieann – Welcome to Connect! Great bunch of supportive people here! And congratulations on your quick recovery from the hip replacement. I haven't had a THR – I've had my knee replaced and doing another knee replacement next month. Thankfully, I didn't have the kind of cramps or shooting pain you did so I can't give you any advice – just moral support! I'm going to tag a few people who have had hip issues to see if they can share any insights… @beatricefay, @mariemotte, @laura1956, and @scottb32. Meantime, I'm curious about your cycling – were you actually riding outside in less than 8 weeks? That's so brave!

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@debbraw

You mentioned that you are scheduled for a knee replacement. That must be coming up soon. Hope you are well and ready for surgery

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@scottb32

Had right hip replaced 6 weeks ago. Was very uptight and the doctors put me at ease. Much better than expected and the pain was minimal. Wish I had had the procedure much earlier!

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@scottb32
How is recovery going?

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@owieann

@debbraw

You mentioned that you are scheduled for a knee replacement. That must be coming up soon. Hope you are well and ready for surgery

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@owieann – Thanks for asking about my upcoming TKR. Yesterday, I had pre-op appointments ALL day from 9am – 4pm. Although it was a long day, it went smooth as could be and every single person I met with was kind and caring – blood work, EKG, CT scan, Xrays, nurses, the Orthopedic Surgeon. To a person I was impressed! And all my tests had good results, so I think I'm all set. My surgery is scheduled for 8am on 1/29. Interestingly, my right TKR was done 4/18/17 by the same doctor. Shortly after, he started using the robotic assisted technique. I'm adding a link to an article about my doctor and the new technique. While I can't say I'm looking forward to the surgery, I AM looking forward to getting it behind me – and excited that this new technique might make recovery a little easier!
https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/orthopedic-surgery/news/robotic-full-knee-replacement-in-florida/mac-20431030

Liked by owieann

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@owieann

@scottb32
How is recovery going?

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Recovery has gone well. Went back to traveling this week with work. At the hotel, I used the stair master and for the first time in years was pain-free. Lost some stamina but that will return. Hardest recovery aspect has been convincing my brain it won't hurt stepping with the right side. Thanks for asking

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@scottb32

Recovery has gone well. Went back to traveling this week with work. At the hotel, I used the stair master and for the first time in years was pain-free. Lost some stamina but that will return. Hardest recovery aspect has been convincing my brain it won't hurt stepping with the right side. Thanks for asking

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@scottb32

Sounds like you're doing great. Yes, it is amazing when you can walk without pain. Congrats on great recovery!

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@owieann

I had a hip replacement in 2015. My surgery, on march 9th went well. My recovery was fantastic……i was cycling again by the end of April.
Beginning in November of last year, I had terrible leg cramps/charlie horse that would last for hours. I would wake up in the morning with it. I had to crawl from my bed to the bathroom, take a muscle relaxer and soak in tub loaded with Epsom salts. That helped. This went on for about 6 weeks on and off. I dont know why. It hasn't happened again but now and then, in the same leg, I get a sharp stabbing shooting feeling in my thigh. It's in the middle of thigh between the knee and pelvis and seems to start or shoot from the outside of my leg. It happens when just standing on my leg…no special reason. There is no warning but the pain is sooooo bad that my knees almost buckle.
I know my right side is stronger than my left (surgery side) not sure how to just strengthen one side as I walk, swim and cycle on both legs.
Anyone have suggestions?

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Hi, I’m new here but saw your post and I have not had hip surgery but have the same problems. Standing in place will trigger the same pain and knee buckling. I have found acupuncture to be very helpful. It usually is a combination of about 40 minutes of needles and 20 minutes of massage.@vlynne

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@owieann

I had a hip replacement in 2015. My surgery, on march 9th went well. My recovery was fantastic……i was cycling again by the end of April.
Beginning in November of last year, I had terrible leg cramps/charlie horse that would last for hours. I would wake up in the morning with it. I had to crawl from my bed to the bathroom, take a muscle relaxer and soak in tub loaded with Epsom salts. That helped. This went on for about 6 weeks on and off. I dont know why. It hasn't happened again but now and then, in the same leg, I get a sharp stabbing shooting feeling in my thigh. It's in the middle of thigh between the knee and pelvis and seems to start or shoot from the outside of my leg. It happens when just standing on my leg…no special reason. There is no warning but the pain is sooooo bad that my knees almost buckle.
I know my right side is stronger than my left (surgery side) not sure how to just strengthen one side as I walk, swim and cycle on both legs.
Anyone have suggestions?

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I had a hip replacement 2 years ago and started getting excruciating thigh cramps about 6 months ago on the same side as my replacement. Someone told me to put vinegar on the part that was cramping and it does take it away within several minutes. I see my surgeon next month and am going to ask him what my replacement is made from?

Liked by pattiez

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@jdsugg

I had a hip replacement 2 years ago and started getting excruciating thigh cramps about 6 months ago on the same side as my replacement. Someone told me to put vinegar on the part that was cramping and it does take it away within several minutes. I see my surgeon next month and am going to ask him what my replacement is made from?

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I had my first total hip replacement five years ago on my right side and my left side replaced three months ago. Both are titanium so I don’t think I have a cobalt issue however I have excruciating leg cramps in both legs starting from my feet going up the inner thigh to my pelvis. The cramps only happen at night as soon as I lay down or they wake me up. Any suggestions or help? I have tried the Amish remedy purchased on Amazon of apple cider vinegar garlic juice and ginger. When the cramps are very bad I rub that on and it really does stop the cramping almost immediately. I just can’t get them to stop altogether and they’re horribly painful. No real suggestions from my orthopedic surgeon as to how or why I have them and my massage therapist is stumped too. Any suggestions ?

Liked by pattiez

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I had a posterior laterl approach THR the end of September. During surgery I was exposed to latex which I am very allergic to. I was on high dose steroids for two months to try and relieve the allergy issues. As soon as the steroids wore off I was left with lateral thigh pain going down to my knee like a hook around my knee. When I am sitting I have no pain. The pain begins when I stand up or walk. It is like a spasm that makes my muscles around my knee not want to work. Prior to my hip replacement I was very active and right now I can hardly do any of my normal activities. My surgeon has no idea what is wrong and I saw another revision surgeon for a second opinion. He too was stumped and said he could send me to a neurologyst for an EMG. Has anyone experienced this after a THR?

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@norskjenta49

I had a posterior laterl approach THR the end of September. During surgery I was exposed to latex which I am very allergic to. I was on high dose steroids for two months to try and relieve the allergy issues. As soon as the steroids wore off I was left with lateral thigh pain going down to my knee like a hook around my knee. When I am sitting I have no pain. The pain begins when I stand up or walk. It is like a spasm that makes my muscles around my knee not want to work. Prior to my hip replacement I was very active and right now I can hardly do any of my normal activities. My surgeon has no idea what is wrong and I saw another revision surgeon for a second opinion. He too was stumped and said he could send me to a neurologyst for an EMG. Has anyone experienced this after a THR?

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I’m also allergic to latex and had my left hip replaced 4 months ago. I don’t think I was exposed during surgery but 2 months later my right knee felt swollen and I was in excruciating pain with a swollen meniscus! I had a cortisone shot 3 weeks ago with no relief so last week I had an MRI. With muscle spasms and knee pain I was miserable. I tried some healthy suggestions. Amish muscle spasm remedy from Amazon, turmeric, E, & D and magnesium. Pain in knee is gone! Go natural it seems to work!

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It's been four years since my posterior right hip replacement. After surgery, I wanted a good outcome, so I not only did the required physical therapy, I continued almost six months on my own at the same facility (for a small fee). From the time of my surgery, sometimes when I get into the car, if I do it like an average person, reaching the right leg inside while beginning to ease onto the seat, then the left, I get severe muscle spasms that start in the groin area and reach around to the glutes area in the back. They were so bad when I first got them I thought my hip was popping out of joint. The doctor assured me this is not what is happening.

I MUST stand to make them go away. My therapist explained that that switches to other muscles and usually makes it go away. Not always, sometimes I have to walk it out. Not real convenient on an expressway on vacation towing a camper! Now, four years later, despite getting in the car with my knees together, I can still have them; this does not happen every time. I can set them off in other ways, reaching into the back seat of the car from the passenger seat, switching gears on my three-wheeled bike, and the gears don't take immediately, and my leg spins forward quickly with a small jerk. I have had such severe spasms once I tried four times to get into the car to drive home and could not even get seated onto the seat, even after walking around a while between and trying again. I thought I was going to need to call my husband to come and get me. The muscles affected can stay sore for a day or more after a bad one.

What sort of doctor should I see for this? I have had additional physical therapy at least three times in four years. I am very tired of physical therapy and don't feel that is the answer. My surgeon has no suggestions. My family doctor just keeps sending me for physical therapy. Is this something that can be fixed surgically? Was a muscle cut and not healed back together correctly?

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@autumnleaves01

It's been four years since my posterior right hip replacement. After surgery, I wanted a good outcome, so I not only did the required physical therapy, I continued almost six months on my own at the same facility (for a small fee). From the time of my surgery, sometimes when I get into the car, if I do it like an average person, reaching the right leg inside while beginning to ease onto the seat, then the left, I get severe muscle spasms that start in the groin area and reach around to the glutes area in the back. They were so bad when I first got them I thought my hip was popping out of joint. The doctor assured me this is not what is happening.

I MUST stand to make them go away. My therapist explained that that switches to other muscles and usually makes it go away. Not always, sometimes I have to walk it out. Not real convenient on an expressway on vacation towing a camper! Now, four years later, despite getting in the car with my knees together, I can still have them; this does not happen every time. I can set them off in other ways, reaching into the back seat of the car from the passenger seat, switching gears on my three-wheeled bike, and the gears don't take immediately, and my leg spins forward quickly with a small jerk. I have had such severe spasms once I tried four times to get into the car to drive home and could not even get seated onto the seat, even after walking around a while between and trying again. I thought I was going to need to call my husband to come and get me. The muscles affected can stay sore for a day or more after a bad one.

What sort of doctor should I see for this? I have had additional physical therapy at least three times in four years. I am very tired of physical therapy and don't feel that is the answer. My surgeon has no suggestions. My family doctor just keeps sending me for physical therapy. Is this something that can be fixed surgically? Was a muscle cut and not healed back together correctly?

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Hi @autumnleaves01, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion that @sandigrant started a while back. Your spasms seem describe the exact situation that she was experiencing. I also want to connect you with @jonpaulcobaltpo @loiscapecod @lioness @owieann @scottb32 @vlynne @pattiez and the other members who are taking part in this discussion in the hopes that they're experiences will offer help for you. You can click VIEW & REPLY to scroll through past posts.

I can imagine that it is frustrating to continue with physical therapy if the spasms are not getting better. Have you considered massage or acupuncture?

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@autumnleaves01

It's been four years since my posterior right hip replacement. After surgery, I wanted a good outcome, so I not only did the required physical therapy, I continued almost six months on my own at the same facility (for a small fee). From the time of my surgery, sometimes when I get into the car, if I do it like an average person, reaching the right leg inside while beginning to ease onto the seat, then the left, I get severe muscle spasms that start in the groin area and reach around to the glutes area in the back. They were so bad when I first got them I thought my hip was popping out of joint. The doctor assured me this is not what is happening.

I MUST stand to make them go away. My therapist explained that that switches to other muscles and usually makes it go away. Not always, sometimes I have to walk it out. Not real convenient on an expressway on vacation towing a camper! Now, four years later, despite getting in the car with my knees together, I can still have them; this does not happen every time. I can set them off in other ways, reaching into the back seat of the car from the passenger seat, switching gears on my three-wheeled bike, and the gears don't take immediately, and my leg spins forward quickly with a small jerk. I have had such severe spasms once I tried four times to get into the car to drive home and could not even get seated onto the seat, even after walking around a while between and trying again. I thought I was going to need to call my husband to come and get me. The muscles affected can stay sore for a day or more after a bad one.

What sort of doctor should I see for this? I have had additional physical therapy at least three times in four years. I am very tired of physical therapy and don't feel that is the answer. My surgeon has no suggestions. My family doctor just keeps sending me for physical therapy. Is this something that can be fixed surgically? Was a muscle cut and not healed back together correctly?

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@autumnleaves01 Thank you Colleen for inviting me to respond I hope this helps. I have had 2 back fractures and because of this my nerves are impinged going into groin to thigh area. It gives me a lot of spasms from the muscles . I use a TENS unit this sends a electrical charge very mild to higher you can adjust it to your comfort level. After 20 min. my muscles are relaxed .I dont have to use it a lot only when my muscles spasm as you are talking about .Yes I have used the vinegar and also Epsom salts either in bathtub I cant do this anymore so I use a wash cloth make sure it is warm to hot water leave on till cools. This helps a lot.

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@lioness

@autumnleaves01 Thank you Colleen for inviting me to respond I hope this helps. I have had 2 back fractures and because of this my nerves are impinged going into groin to thigh area. It gives me a lot of spasms from the muscles . I use a TENS unit this sends a electrical charge very mild to higher you can adjust it to your comfort level. After 20 min. my muscles are relaxed .I dont have to use it a lot only when my muscles spasm as you are talking about .Yes I have used the vinegar and also Epsom salts either in bathtub I cant do this anymore so I use a wash cloth make sure it is warm to hot water leave on till cools. This helps a lot.

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@autumleaves I forgot to tell you search for TENS unit.com and it will show you the unit and explain how to use it .

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